Page 98 - Discover South Mississippi - Fall, 2021
P. 98

 NEWCOMERS
story by Christiana Mohrman photos courtesy of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
 PROTECTING
 THE GULF
Gulf Star Program
Believing in the importance of regional collaboration to address important environmental and economic issues, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) works across
the five Gulf states with over 150 organizations including state and federal agencies, communities, universities, non-profits, businesses, and industry. GOMA priority issues include community resilience, coastal habitats, wildlife, public outreach, and marine debris.
A key GOMA initiative is its Gulf Star Program, a unique public- private partnership that provides funding for projects to support healthy beaches, clean waters, productive ecosystems, and thriving coastal communities in the Gulf
of Mexico region. In total, nearly
50 projects have been funded through the Gulf Star Program since 2016. This year’s projects focus
on supporting coastal resilience, underrepresented and underserved communities, water and marine debris monitoring, living shorelines, wildlife conservation, and regional data sharing.
Along the Mississippi coast, Gulf Star-funded activities include:
• Providing tools and resources,
including the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters, to help communities and residents prepare for hurricanes and flooding
• Training citizen scientists to study the impacts of marine debris
• Reducing single-use plastics at
the Mockingbird Café and other restaurants through the “Plastic Free Gulf Coast” initiative
• Supporting business continuity planning with the City of Ocean Springs
• Creating watershed plans with the City of Biloxi
• Planning conservation activities for rare native wildlife, such as diamondback terrapins
• Mapping seagrass status and trends
• Helping scientists understand the best
uses of sand and dredged materials for
habitat protection and restoration “Our incredible success is built on the strength of GOMA’s collaborative formula and the shared vision of our
Gulf Star partners,” says Executive Director Laura Bowie. “I am incredibly proud of the impact these projects
are having here at home along the Mississippi coast and across the entire Gulf region.”
The Gulf Star Program leverages contributions from government agencies and businesses, including
the following partners: BHP, Shell, Freeport McMoRan, Hess, Chevron, Clean Gulf Associates, Equinor, Oxy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the five Gulf states.
Learn more about the Gulf Star Program at: www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/gulfstar.
This story is part of Embrace the Gulf 2021, sponsored by Clean Gulf Associates, Hess and Shell.
Take Action! Engage with our ETG 2021 “Call to Action” campaign and show us how you are making a difference in your community.
   Facebook/Twitter: @gomalliance • Instagram: @gulfofmexicoalliance
98 DISCOVER COASTAL MISSISSIPPI   Fall 2021
  

































































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